First off, thank you to everyone for your emails. I love hearing about the good things that are going on in your lives, and I feel so much love and support! I´ll do my best to write individual responses, but it may take a few weeks. ¡Lo siento!
The work continues here in Monte Fresco! I´m feeling a little bit better adjusted, even if I´m not yet fluent in Spanish. ;) It´s been pretty rainy this week, which is always an adventure with the dirt roads and metal roofs. The cool thing is that often when it rains here, the sun shines at the same time. Lluvia con sol, they call it.
We had another baptism on Saturday! I´m just reaping the fruits of all the labor of the missionaries before me. Hermano Leslie has been investigating the church off and on since 2011. He´s the sweetest old man ever. Leslie is humble and very close to the Spirit. He has great insights as we read El Libro de Mormon together. And when he prays, it´s so sincere that I almost cry every time. If you are a missionary and you´re having a hard day, know that a wonderful old man in Nicaragua prays for you with his whole heart. It was a miracle that his baptism even happened, because we couldn´t find enough priesthood holders to be witnesses or people to give talks until the last second. Also, when we went to pick up Leslie for the service, it started pouring rain and we had to wait it out for a while. Anyway, it all worked out in the end, and we had the privilege of watching this super prepared man be baptized.
Without worrying at all about the organization of this email, here are a few things I love about Nicaragua:
-The people all call each other Hermano or Hermana and their first name.
-The mangoes and avocadoes. Oh my, there is no comparison to what we have in the U.S.
-People have these Photoshop photos hanging on their walls. Like, they´ll take a picture of their kid in a white shirt and tie and superimpose it on a picture of a grand entryway with a marble staircase, or a soccer field, or an animated scene.
-Mototaxi rides home some nights. They´re kind of like three-wheeled golf carts, and they drive fast. It´s nice when we don´t have to walk home.
I´ve been diligent about the bug spray and don´t have too many more bites. These bugs are sneaky, though, and I find bites in places I should have three layers of clothes. People tell me that the bugs stop biting so much after you´ve been here a while.
Ahh, half of the power in the cyber cafe just went out! I better send this quick in case the computer loses my message. I love you and I´m loving my mission! I hope soon to feel like I´m able to share my testimony and teach as I want to teach instead of being limited to what I feel like I can say without making mistakes. But I also decided that it doesn´t matter if I make mistakes, because these people will still like me anyway.
P.S. Explanation of the subject line: one of the borrachos called me la chelita Mormoncita this week, and I kind of like it. Other things people have called me: la niña, la muñeca, and Barbie. Haha, I´m going to be so vain when I come back, because here everyone thinks I´m beautiful!
P.P.S. The power´s still good, so here´s a quick funny story: Hermana Aquian and I started one of our lessons by singing a hymn, Dios da Valor (God Speed the Right). But our singing was horribly off-key. We both looked at each other and started laughing (have I mentioned how adorable Hermana Aquian´s laugh is?) and couldn´t stop. We had to choose a different hymn to try to keep the Spirit. Now whenever there´s a dull moment, one of us just sings, ¨Dios da valor...¨ and we both crack up.